Hands down – without question – the #1 thing people ask me about a plant-based (vegan) diet is…..
“But where do you get your protein??”
It’s as if protein is an elusive unicorn that’s really difficult to find. How do we plant-based eaters survive? Surely we must struggle every day to find adequate sustenance!
Please rest assured that we’re all fine – and you can be, too.
Today I want to bust open the ‘protein myth’ – and show you how insanely easy it is to make sure you’re eating enough of this important macronutrient.
Old Myths Die Hard.
It’s so deeply ingrained in us that PROTEIN is the be all and end all of our diets. And we’ve been led to believe that the only way (and the best way) to get enough protein is to eat animals.
In fact, I will go so far as to declare this: Super-False!
Don’t get me wrong – protein matters. We DO need it and we’re SUPPOSED to eat it. It plays a vital role in so many processes in our bodies (stamina, tissue repair, muscle function, hormone and enzyme production, etc).
But it does NOT need to come from animals. At all.
We also need significantly less protein than what most of us currently eat – and it’s really easy to find.
Protein Is Not A Unicorn.
Here’s the deal: There is a completely false, made-up ‘protein crisis’ in this country. It’s ridiculous.
When was the last time you heard of anyone – anyone! – being diagnosed with an actual protein deficiency in America?? It doesn’t happen. When people are malnourished it’s usually because they are not getting enough CALORIES, not protein. And, as a country, we are obese and under-nourished because we are generally not eating enough whole foods and PLANTS. Our lack of protein is 100% NOT the problem.
The average person needs approximately 40-60 grams of protein a day (depending on your weight and activity level). Pregnant women, athletes and bodybuilders do need more.
That said, protein is not difficult to find. Protein is not a unicorn.
You would actually have to work really, really, really hard NOT to eat enough protein. You’d have to starve.
The Fact That No One Ever Wants To Believe.
Fact: All food contains protein, except fruit and oil.
No one ever wants to believe this.
You can look it up.
Broccoli has protein. Brown rice has protein. Avocados have protein. Your oatmeal has protein. If you are eating food, you are eating protein all day long.
In truth, as long as you eat enough calories over the course of a day to support your weight and activity level you will, by default, eat enough protein for your body.
No one ever wants to believe this, either, but it’s true.
If you need 1600 calories a day, and you ate 1600 calories of nothing but oats (which I do not advise!), you would still meet your minimum daily protein requirement.